Old Testament: Numbers 26:1-51
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Numbers 26: 1-51 Take A Number
The book of Numbers began with a census. Now we have another one. The main reason was that we now have another, entirely new generation fixing (as we’d say in Georgia) to move into the Promised Land. The older generation had nearly all died off. In fact, notice in v. 1 the command was given to the new High Priest, Eleazar, since Aaron was now gone. The first census was to determine their numbers before their journey began. For this census, new land needed to be apportioned and the number of men of military age had to be ascertained.
If you had wondered how many people died during the desert wanderings, the number is 1,200,000. The total of men is 1,820 less men than forty years previously.
J. Vernon McGee believes that since the guys are not numbered till they reach twenty that that age could represent the age of reason. That would explain a lot of male teenagers.
Some familiar names pop up in the census. Korah, Abiram, and Dathan. Notice Korah’s family was not taken out the earthly trap door (Nu. 26: 9-11). Er and Onan are mentioned in Nu. 26: 19 who were offed by God for their er-rors.
The total number of Israelite . . . men . . . was 601,730.
New Testament: Luke 2:36-52
Luke 2: 36-38 Anna, Banna, Bo-Banna
Anna was the female counterpart to Simeon in that she was also praying diligently for the redemption of Israel. Her name meant “gracious” and was the same name as the OT Hannah. Both Hannah and Anna extolled the coming of God’s messenger’s. Jesus in the case of Anna and Samuel in the case of Hannah (1Sam. 2: 1-10). She was a widow, eighty-four years old, having been widowed after only seven years of marriage. She is a good representation of what the Apostle Paul would describe years later (1Tim. 5: 3-6). Anna was a prophetess. She was always in the Temple praying and fasting. She proclaimed to Israel that the Messiah had indeed come.
Luke 2: 39-40 Pulled Into Nazareth
The family went back to Joseph’s town of Nazareth. Despite all the specials on the History channel about Jesus’ boyhood, there really isn’t much in the New Testament about it. Jesus grew up like other boys and “continued to grow and become strong” (Lk. 2: 40). He was not just intelligent but had practical knowledge aka “wisdom.” “God’s grace was upon Him” (Lk. 2: 40). God’s grace is on us also if we are obedient as Jesus was (Jn. 14: 21).
Luke 2: 41-52 Lost At The Mall
Ever lost your kids at the mall? Me neither. But it would’ve put me in a major panic. Jesus’ parents basically lost Him at the mall during the Feast of Passover in Jerusalem. There were crowds everywhere. Mary and Joseph had already started back to Nazareth when they realized they were missing something. The Son of God. They had misplaced the Son of God. They looked for Him amongst all their relatives but couldn’t find Him. They went back to Jerusalem to find him and after three days (one day out of town, one day back, one day searching), they found Him in the Temple. He was learning from the teachers there. The teachers were amazed at His understanding. His parents said, “Hey, huh? What were you thinking? You have put us in some anxiety.” Jesus said He had to be in His Father’s house. They didn’t really understand what He meant. They took Him back to Nazareth. Mary tucked all of this experience into the back of her mind and churned it over in meditation.
Jesus continued to grow up and mature. He was “in favor with God and men” at this point. The book of Hebrews says, “Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered” Heb. 5: 8. He learned and matured through suffering in ways similar to us.